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Cannabis reverses aging processes in the brain (medicalxpress.com)
189 points by brahmwg 126 days ago | hide | past | web | 123 comments | favorite



I'm not sure its wise to say "Cannabis" as a shorthand for "Low doses of THC."

The headline of the paper is: "A chronic low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice.

https://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v23/n6/full/nm.4311.html"

Which is interesting, but you shouldn't take it to mean smoking is good for your brain. We already have some data to suggest that smoking cannabis, at least while young, is linked to cognitive decline.

"Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife" (2012)

http://m.pnas.org/content/109/40/E2657.full


From the 2nd Link:

> Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education. Informants also reported noticing more cognitive problems for persistent cannabis users. Impairment was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, with more persistent use associated with greater decline. Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users.

Does the last sentence mean what I think it means. That even after stopping cannabis use, the neuropsychological damage / cognitive problems remained, and didn't rollback the decline from cannabis use?

If yes, it's troubling. All my stoner friends claim no permanent damage from chronic use


> If yes, it's troubling. All my stoner friends claim no permanent damage from chronic use

I mean, your stoner friends have got to be making a strange claim in the first place. There is no magic Twin Earth, where yoga is a contact sport, John McCain is president, and they never smoked, that they can compare themselves to.

We all decline somewhat from other factors, the question is just how much is attributable to what. How would they even be able to parse out their cannabis-decline from their age-decline, or from their haven't-practiced-long-division-recently decline, etc?

If they are only thinking "I felt dumber when smoking but now that I stopped, it seems gone", well, that's something, but it can't be a complete picture vs their never-smoked potential.


"There is no magic Twin Earth"

That's just, like, your opinion man. If they smoke enough, they've probably been to Twin Earth.



Acroyoga: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acroyoga

Does that count as full contact?


I have this same thought when people say their didn't have any problems even after they got all the vaccine shots as a child, so it is completely safe...

How did you compare you with your version who never had shots? Or how did any vaccination trials do it?


Come on people! BabyRainbow is not claiming vaccinations don't work.

Their point is almost exactly the opposite - we know vaccinations work without requiring a 'twin Earth' that the grandparent posited. Exactly the same applies to whether e.g. cannabis is linked to cognitive decline.


They're making a stupid pedantic point and deserve every single downvote for turning this conversation into white noise.


What stupid pedantic point? Go back to my first comment and read carefully. Tell me what I am saying, and tell what is stupid about it..


> What stupid pedantic point?

That studies don't have literally the same people in both groups.

Especially when the main problem with "I turned out fine, so it must be safe" is that the person is confusing anecdotes with statistics, not any deficits in rigor caused by lack of access to branching timelines.

It's no wonder people are confused about what you're actually trying to say. So you don't have to be intentionally condescending with "you should go back and read the comment again ellipsis".

Edit: Oh great you added similar language to this comment while I was replying. Cheers.

Edit 2: Even if you had branching timelines, the butterfly effect ruins your ability to know if your intervention is the actual cause of any particular outcome. Maybe one version of the participant skips a plane flight five years down the line, and that changes their health in a major way.


>That studies don't have literally the same people in both groups...

Go back to my first comment and tell me where I mention any kind of studies.

All I was point was at the logical fallacy in the claim that something hadn't any negative impact on you because you turned to be out fine, without comparing with a version of you without the influence of that something...

In the equation, 10 = y - z, you cannot say that z is 0 without knowing y, right?

I am saying just that.

EDIT: regarding branching timelines and butterfly effect, are you talking to yourself?


"the claim that something hadn't any negative impact on you because you turned to be out fine, without comparing"

I'm lumping that in under "studies" about health effects.

> In the equation, 10 = y - z, you cannot say that z is 0 without knowing y, right?

> I am saying just that.

Yes. You are. But we have good baselines for y, and the person is trying to make an argument about the entire population of zs, so while you're correct that there is uncertainty on the y, the way you went about it is only relevant to thought experiments and your later replies were very much exacerbating a fruitless discussion.

And like I added later, you can't even measure y with magic twin earths, so there was even less reason for the comment at all.

>EDIT: regarding branching timelines and butterfly effect, are you talking to yourself?

The comment you were replying to was talking about "twin earths". Your specific comment said "your version who never had shots". That's what I'm referring to with "branching timelines". Sorry for using alternate wording.

I can avoid using the phrase "butterfly effect" if you want. It's shorthand for: Once you change something, like vaccine vs. no vaccine, there is a chance that the "twin earth" or "your version who never had shots" comes out completely differently for essentially random reasons. Tiny little differences in what you experienced the day of the shot cause different outcomes later that are entirely unrelated to the shot itself.

So it's actually irrelevant whether you can test against this "your version who never had shots", because the act of performing the injection screws up the list of "random" events that happen to that other-you. And once that happens, you're basically measuring two different people. And you can measure two different people on normal earth.

So there is no y vs. z comparison, not even in the thought experiment you were replying to.


> Once you change something, like vaccine vs. no vaccine, there is a chance that the "twin earth" or "your version who never had shots" comes out completely differently for essentially random reasons....

There is no need to use a time line. You can have an hypothetical machine that could extract the effects of the vaccine from your body... So you enter into this machine, and comes out as a version that never had any vaccines...There. You have got your delta.


Removing the effects without redoing the timeline would be able to measure some effects, but not others.

Anyway this is not really helpful so I'll restate the part that actually matters and then peace out.

Yes you have a technically correct point, but the way you went about presenting it as "this argument is flawed" lead to people pointing out significantly more important flaws in the argument. You then sassed people instead of just letting it be or trying to refocus on what you were actually trying to contribute. Not a great strategy, all-in-all.


>Removing the effects without redoing the timeline would be able to measure some effects, but not others.

Like what exactly?

>Yes you have a technically correct point, but the way you went about presenting it as "this argument is flawed

if "argument is flawed" how can I present it any different...


>I'm lumping that in under "studies" about health effects.

Then the blame is on you, Not me.


>> I'm lumping that in under "studies" about health effects.

> Then the blame is on you, Not me.

Okay, I think there's been some miscommunication here. Because whether we call that a study is absolutely irrelevant to either of our points. So I accept total blame for that wording? I will call it whatever you want, because it has nothing to do with my argument.


HN is no different from any other internet hangout where people can earn and lose imaginary internet points. The only online forums I have seen work well as an open forum of discussion that don't fall victim to some form of groupthink are those that don't allow downvotes.


I think you might be too charitable in your interpretation of that comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14417337


He he. It is really funny how people are reacting when they come across things with huge emotional investment and even remotely questioning of their beliefs...

I ask . "Is it logical to reach the conclusion x based on y" and people are responding as if I have said "x is not true"! and they are saying things like "whether X is true or false does not matter because Z!"

HI larious!


I suspect you're being downvoted because you'll always be able to claim 'No no, I meant more subtle effects that are harder to measure.'

To answer your question: How can I compare my vaccinated self to my unvaccinated self?

The answer is: I can't, because my unvaccinated self is probably dead as it would have had to have lived in a world where childhood mortality was much higher than it is now, due to various factors but especially communicable diseases.


I also like to think that since we have no evidence of any of these effects they might be beneficial too. Perhaps being exposed to a vaccine makes you jump higher and better at Asteroids. Since there is no way to tell it these magical unknown effects could be good instead of bad.


You compare populations. Did a group who got the vaccine have more problems than an otherwise identical group that didn't? This requires careful study design and statistical analysis, of course.


You're correcr, but it's worth mentioning that studies != experiments.

I'm not an anti-vaccer for the record.

The studies vs experiments problem is larger in social sciences than medicine.


They do run vaccine experiments with controls, not just observational studies.


The above comment did refer to population studies.

Most drugs are studied using clinical trials, which contain control groups. Not perfect experiment, but close to it.

There are plenty of examples studies and trials published in scientific journals with erroneous conclusions. With a purwly scientific experiment that would be impossible (at least for the experimental outcome to disagree with nature).


Perhaps someone would explain why they downvoted?


> who got the vaccine have more problems than an otherwise identical group that didn't?

But we were not talking about problems. The person I was replying said this

> but it can't be a complete picture vs their never-smoked potential.

So I am talking about the potential (meaning various capabilities IQ, Social behaviour, Emotional stability (withing the bound of normalcy) etc. I mean, things that are not usually recognized as problems..).

How can you compare the potential of a version of you who never had vaccines with a version of you who had a given set of vaccines. This is particularly relevant with vaccines because you don't have a version of you before having vaccines, since these are usually administrated at a very young age..


> How can you compare the potential of a version of you who never had vaccines with a version of you who had a given set of vaccines

These are called identical twin studies, they're inherently limited in capacity and are not an appropriate means of studying vaccines. Vaccines are inherently something widely distributed to the public. Vaccines do have adverse effects on some people, all publicly released vaccines have publicly available figures on the likelihood of adverse effects in a percentage of the population. If the percentage is too high or the types of effects are too severe then the vaccine is not released to the public - this is common sense.

For example I was seemingly affected by a Whooping Cough (Pertussis) vaccine I was administered as a baby. After receiving part of the vaccine (it was administered in doses at the time) I became quite ill and doctors advised against administering the rest of the vaccine. So for many years I was not vaccinated against Whooping Cough but received the rest of my vaccinations without issue - again, should be common sense.

I'm a perfectly healthy adult now and have actually since received a newer/different a Whooping Cough vaccine (I don't believe they still administer the old one), as well as several other vaccinations.

I'm perfectly content with the fact a vaccine may have almost killed me, it's certainly better than the alternative of Whooping Cough running rampant killing more than the 50,000 people it already kills each year.


Ha! Look. This is absolutely not the issue we are discussing. If you go back and read my question calmly, you might recognize it...


Vaccines undergo extremely comprehensive studies before being widely approved for use, there's really not a lot to wonder about.

For example, I think everyone knows about the 2015-2016 Zika virus out-break and what experts believe to be a link to devastating child birth defects. This has clearly become a high priority vaccine candidate... and, we believe we already have one.

It's just that, despite the devastating effects, medical professionals/scientists aren't going to go willy-nilly releasing it to the public without a comprehensive study (ideally multiple of them), for example, the following study which is expected to complete in 2019.

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/phase-2-zika-v...


Didn't really answer my specific question...


Someone else already answered it in a previous parent reply.

> You compare populations. Did a group who got the vaccine have more problems than an otherwise identical group that didn't? This requires careful study design and statistical analysis, of course.


Please take a look at my reply to this ^ comment. I think you might have missed it...


This is the same argument I make to my friends who wear pants - how can you compare the potential of a version of you who never had pants with a version of you who had a given set of pants? This is particularly relevant with pants because you don't have a version of you before having pants, since these are usually applied at a very young age...


Exactly! You can't. You get the idea.

But with pants, I guess you never had to wonder "Is wearing pants safe".


But wearing pants ISN'T safe - it ruins testosterone levels and has been shown in test after test to increase risk of cancer, decrease sperm count, lower muscle mass, increase telomerease production, and inhibit ATP creation, to name a few.


You can't. Does it matter? Does the possibility of minor changes to an individuals physiology matter when the current alternative is death for quite a few people? Even if minor changes in our physiology happen all the time?


> Does the possibility of minor changes to an individuals physiology matter when the current alternative is death for quite a few people?

Again. That was not the question. But I see you have answered the actual question also, agreeing with my point. So we're cool..


You're discounting the risk from -not- getting vaccinated. We know Zika can severely damage babies' potential. Whooping cough, rubella, measles? They all have the possibility to damage people long-term (if they don't kill you, which is admittedly not that common anymore, but can happen). And, since humanity has been living with those diseases for a long time, we have a pretty good sense of exactly how bad they are. We know the risks.

So, does vaccination make more healthy people, at a population level, than not vaccinating? That's the question that matters, because every action (or inaction) has risks. The evidence is abundant that yes, vaccination has helped us reach closer to our potential. Diseases like polio might even be entirely eliminated, in which case we're trading a few adverse reactions today for a nigh infinite number of saved lives in the future (if future generations don't have to even be vaccinated, it's pure benefit with no cost)

There is admittedly a weird philosophical issue, whereby a vaccine does juggle around probabilities: you're trading 1000 people getting sick with measles (say) for 10 people getting sick from the vaccine. But they're (probably) different people. Were the people who got sick harmed? Sure, but if they hadn't gotten the vaccine, they might have been harmed by the disease. It's impossible to to know for certain. But it's what happens at the population level that counts.


For some reason, most of the those who have promoted this piece have failed to notice that the same journal published a pretty scathing refutation of it, a few months later.

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/11/4251.abstract

It seems the original authors didn't even bother to look for confounding factors, such as socioeconomic status or use of other drugs.


It is also interesting to note that the paper cites only 3 "NIH grants", but the lead author works for the "Duke Transdisciplinary Prevention Research Center, Center for Child and Family Policy," which doesn't sound very objective.

Hmm, let's dig further. The home page of the TPRC lists a single funder: the NDIA.

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/project/transdisciplin...

That would be the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an institution which has a pre-established position on marijuana and other drugs, and stands to gain financially the more problems that are perceived with recreational drug use.

The following government piece on drugabuse.org does not mention the serious criticisms, despite heavily quoting from the journal in which they were published 6 months prior. Since it streches credulity to think they didn't know about the problems raised, the logical conclusion is that the authors felt their piece would be stronger without mentioning them (versus offering any counter-rebuttal).

https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2013/08/ear...


Well, if you read the results what it basically says is that if you started regular use from adolescence there was a clear IQ decline correlated in proportion with "waves" of diagnoses (iow, they measured a number of times several years apart, and IQ loss correlated with how many times they were diagnosed as cannabis-dependent at measurement so presumably length of time using). If you started as an adult, there was no clear correlation, although looks like at least a small trend towards decline was always observed.

http://m.pnas.org/content/109/40/E2657/F2.expansion.html

As far as reversal, looks like it stuck pretty hard if you started regular use during adolescence. If you started afterwards, then you bounced back as long as you weren't still using frequently.

http://m.pnas.org/content/109/40/E2657/F3.expansion.html

If your friends are adults it's probably either damage done already or nothing irreversible, at least to the extent this study is accurate.

One thing that would be interesting would be a breakdown around different standard deviations. We know that drug use is higher in more intelligent people[1,2], and that probably does represent our audience here given subject matter. I'd be curious to know whether the effects are more or less marked once you're a couple of standard deviations out from the norm, given that the population measured seems to be near median-100 (i.e. either a broad cross-section or skewed towards average).

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamen...

[2] http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/15/why-kids-with-high-iq-...


> As far as reversal, looks like it stuck pretty hard if you started regular use during adolescence. If you started afterwards, then you bounced back as long as you weren't still using frequently.

That makes sense. The human brain doesn't mature until the early 20s.


Depending on when your stoner friends got started, they may or may not be self-reporting accurately. From the same link :

> Our findings suggest that regular cannabis use before age 18 y predicts impairment, but others have found effects only for younger ages (10, 15). Given that the brain undergoes dynamic changes from the onset of puberty through early adulthood (37, 38), this developmental period should be the focus of future research on the age(s) at which harm occurs.

Age of onset is a particularly important variable as it pertains to cannabis-induced cognitive impairment. I doubt cannabis is perfectly safe and harmless at any age, but it has consistently been shown to be both more harmful and less reversible to younger brains in development.


I thought it was well-known that marijuana use among adolescents was a risk factor for schizophrenia.

I'm 100% for legalization, but no drug is ever completely safe. I had to talk a friend down from a nasty paranoid dissociation episode after she ate the recommended dose of a mass-produced legal pot cookie in Seattle. It's a hell of a lot safer than alcohol, IMO, but that's not the same thing as "safe".


Like others have said, if you are already disposed to have a psychiatric problem - especially one that includes episodes of psychosis - pot is likely to make the problem come to the forefront. To be fair, there are a lot of other things that can cause the same - stress, for example. A lot of major mental illnesses start when folks are in their late teens or early-to-mid 20's as well, making the timing of such experimentation coordinate with the disease onset.

Doesn't mean one causes the other, though. More that one can (but doesn't always) bring out some of the symptoms. It surely isn't enough of a link to ban it for that reason, unless we want to ban things like stress, which can also bring on symptoms if you have the "right" setup for it.


This is dangerous though because then the reaction is always "oh well yeah they must have been redisposed" with no real evidence other than hear say. It was a side effect, a bad one, that requires more study. This thinking though will lead to "I am fine this won't happen to me" and it could and people should know that.


This is exactly why we need factual drug education prudent age restrictions where legal (drinking age = smoking age), and the normalization of affordable psychiatric checkups and basic information about mental health.

Factual drug information would include these warnings, plus giving lots of folks information about what to do if it should happen. Prudent age limits - ones that can be enforced reasonably - help folks know themselves a bit more before they try it out. Psychiatric care being normal can help catch a few folks along the way, and knowing what to do (per the drug education) hopefully means more folks get help.

It won't stop the "I am fine, it won't happen to me" sort of thinking, but this sort of thing can prevent a bit of it and change the outcome of it.


Kind of a side thought but we have kind of a strange cultural definition of what constitutes a drug. There are plenty of common foods which have physiological and neurological affects.


Really, all foods have physiological and neurological effects. I wouldn't say the cultural definition of what constitutes a drug is strange, more like it has a very large grey area. The more more tangible the effect, or the more synthetic, the more likely it is people would call it a drug. You could probably get most people to agree caffeine is a drug, you'd have a harder time with sugar.


I think what he means is the word Drug that is used in the War on Drugs. I.E. street speed (amphetamine) is a Drug while adderall (amphetamine) is medication.

A lot of people in this country make that--indeed strange--distinction. The way we got here was fro government-private partnerships that created a cultural willing to accept the double think requires for G-P to profit off Drugs and medications.


... which seems very un-logical to me, since sugar addiction is quite real and quite bad for your health, unlike caffeine


Having recently (3 months ago) stopped a 20 year daily coffee habit, I would be inclined to say that caffeine is not at all good for your health.

Just the stress on the heart and nervous system alone is enough to offset any supposed benefit (from this perspective I'd say there are none, it's just getting hopped up on another drug, albeit a very much culturally accepted one in most parts of the world).

Concentrated sugars taken in on a regular basis are also harmful to one's health. I guess live like the ancients (i.e. before alcohol, coffee, tabacco, white sugar, etc. came into being) is a pretty good recipe for optimal health.


There basically never was 'before drugs and alcohol', beer dates back to at least 9500 BC, and coca leaf chewing shouldn't be much younger. As for coffee, according to heart.org, "moderate coffee drinking (1–2 cups per day) doesn't seem to be harmful"


> moderate coffee drinking (1–2 cups per day) doesn't seem to be harmful

Probably depends on the strength of the coffee, mine were more along the lines of Turkish than Folgers instant. Definitely could feel heart constriction at times.

re: before drugs and alcohol, sure, the ancient ones reference is more metaphorical than any historical timeline.


Early beer was much, much weaker than what we have today. In a lot of times and places beer was the primary means of hydration--safer than dirty water--but people weren't staggering around drunk all the time.


Alcohols intoxicating effects were almost certainly discovered before its usefulness as a disinfectant.


Sure, but you don't need to know about disinfectant to notice that people who drink the water from the stream get sick and people who drink beer don't. (Nor need to realize that it's because the people and animals upstream are shitting in it. Not a big problem for hunter-gatherers, but it would have become an issue once large-scale agriculture became a thing.)


Animals will eat "rotting" fruit to catch a buzz, there was never a time "before alcohol".


"Daily coffee habit"? How much coffee per day?


For about 10 years, 2 per day, basically triple espressos (barring bed ridden state, without exception, every day). The last 5 years I cut back to one per day.

Probably like a cigarette smoker giving up smoking, the thought of getting jacked up on caffeine is not at all appealing.


Yes, I've had friends who've had similar experiences after ingesting edibles. Yes, there is some element of responsibility when it comes to consumption (nothing in life is risk-free), but it's not to the point where it should be considered illegal, to say nothing of the ruined lives caused by having a bunch of non-violent offenders run through our judicial system because they "got high."


Absolutely. The best solution in my mind is legalization and education. That's why it pisses me off when people spread the story that it's 100% harmless--you can't be a responsible user if you don't know the facts, positive and negative.


I think it is psychotic breaks you could be referring to.

Schizophrenia is its own thing.


The studies I've seen connect schizophrenia with marijuana use in young people. My friend's episode may be something else; it hasn't recurred despite ongoing occasional use, and she hasn't shown any other signs of schizophrenia that I'd recognize.


I'm pretty sure "got scary high off an edible and went into the paranoid disassociation place" is a rite of stoner passage, tbh. I've sure been there myself.


Absolutely, but I can totally see how that can be dangerous for a particular minds (whether it's underlying problems or just the 'type' of mind).

This is one reason why I avoid psychedelics. I'm waiting for a 'right' moment, and would really like to experience it, but I figure I better err on the side of caution when it comes to my mind.


> I thought it was well-known that marijuana use among adolescents was a risk factor for schizophrenia.

Incorrect. Those predisposed to schizophrenic and some other mental disorders are more likely to have those symptoms aggravated by chronic drug use. Pot doesn't create mental illness, it exacerbates it.

The lesson here is not to smoke weed in your developing teen years, or to experiment in a safe environment if there is a history of schizophrenia in your family, something that should be a no-brainer.

"Safe" is a very relative word and a substance can only be as safe as the person consuming it. Incorrect safety procedure when ingesting a substance, such as taking drugs without proper dosage experimentation or in unstable environments, should not be held against the substance itself.


> > I thought it was well-known that marijuana use among adolescents was a risk factor for schizophrenia. > Incorrect. Those predisposed to schizophrenic and some other mental disorders are more likely to have those symptoms aggravated by chronic drug use. Pot doesn't create mental illness, it exacerbates it.

Aren't both these statements a bit too one-sided in light of the evidence? As far as I'm aware we know there's a correlation, but there's no consensus about causality either way (although I lean towards weed being mostly harmless in itself, and 'triggering' if you happen to be susceptible to schizophrenia).


Get a group of scizophrenics together and get them to smoke weed. You'll have a few people whose symptoms are helped but you'll find more of them get triggered and may end up having an episode.

As I said, weed doesn't cause schizophrenia, it just exacerbates the symptoms in some people. I don't see what is one-sided about that and there is plenty of literature to support this, if you search around for a minute or two.


Exactly. You seem to be under the misapprehension that I disagree with you.


I think it's supposed to have a more damaging impact when you're younger, and your brain is rapidly developing.


I wonder if they corrected for differences in activity level. Pot has a habit of keeping you on the couch and away from more novel experiences and learning opportunities. Maybe being highly sedentary during brain development contributes. Wonder what the observation would be in sedentary-but-sober people.


A slight cognitive function decline is not at all that severe of a consequence, even if it is true. I'm pretty sure "brain damage" is true in some level for almost all recreational drugs. Amongst them, I'd say cannabis is a very forgiving drug of (ab)use.


Troubling, but not at all surprising


here is an illuminating issue with the trend of specifying interest

as a science develops it usually branches into specific categories of study

these categories and their proponents usually create language to simplify intercommunication of ideas

but the issue becomes these placeholder words can sometimes be misunderstood: two parties each agreeing on a conclusion but holding different definitions for linking jargon; or sometimes are oversimplifications of their underlying ideas that are less interesting to the science being discussed

what does neuropsychological mean?

googs will tell you: the study of the relationship between behavior, emotion, and cognition on the one hand, and brain function on the other.

wiki(o) will tell you: Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain as they relate to specific psychological processes and behaviours

so what is declining? the structure of the brain?

how do you measure that? less neurons? less connections? do we know how many neurons or connections is ideal?

or is behaviour and emotion declining? how do you determine desirability of emotion and behaviour?

wiki also suggests methods of measuring this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuropsychology#Methods_and_to... ; which include card sorting(i) and brain scans

the former suffering from what i would consider a fallacy of overfitting and the latter currently under scrutiny for overassuming(ii)

it's also a young enough field that hn's spellchecker flags neuropsychology as a misspelled word.. perhaps the spellchecker's neuropsychology has been damaged

do i care one way or the other on the short and long term damage from cannabis smoking? of course i am interested in the results but i hope in the future the language, from both sides, will become more descriptive and less inflammatory

that said, much like with alcohol use, you are intentionally poisoning yourself in order to alter your perception of shared reality.. accelerated entropy should be expected

but the more descriptive information we can form will better inform our decisions on whether the benefits outweigh the negatives

(o) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuropsychology

(i) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_Card_Sorting_Test

(ii) https://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2015/apr...


> that said, much like with alcohol use, you are intentionally poisoning yourself in order to alter your perception of shared reality.. accelerated entropy should be expected

This is an odd statement. Weed isn't exactly toxic like alcohol is. It's nearly impossible to overdose, any acute harm will be purely psychological (even though this thread is debating whether long-term harm can enter the physical realm).

Also, we do all sorts of stuff all the time to alter our perception of reality, mostly not involving substances...


I'm pretty sure it must depend on the method of consumption. Eating is probably fairly non-toxic but smoking pretty much anything produces partially oxidated hydrocarbons which aren't great for your lungs. There may be enough other chemicals in canabis that reduce the harm of combustion but it's unclear to what extent.


Actually, people have studied the effects of cannabis smoke inhalation on lungs, and the results so far so some negative effects (respiratory disease), but the effects are fairly small. There is no correlation between cannabis smoking and lung cancer, in fact, smoking it seems to have a mildly protective effect (this is still being actively debated in the literature).


Got any sources on this?

I'm finding it hard to believe smoke from cannabis combustion is anything other than terrible for your lungs.


This is the report from the National Academy of Science released this year. It's in no way "terrible".

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?Rec...

Regarding the link between marijuana and cancer, the committee found evidence that suggests smoking cannabis does not increase the risk for cancers often associated with tobacco use – such as lung and head and neck cancers. The committee also found limited evidence that cannabis use is associated with one sub-type of testicular cancer and insufficient evidence that cannabis use by a mother or father during pregnancy leads to a greater risk of cancers in the child

The evidence reviewed by the committee suggests that smoking cannabis on a regular basis is associated with more frequent chronic bronchitis episodes and worse respiratory symptoms, such as chronic cough and phlegm production, but quitting cannabis smoking is likely to reduce these conditions. The committee stated that it is unclear whether cannabis use is associated with certain respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, or worsened lung function.


Your totally right.. I misspoke, should have said 'intentionally consuming a substance'


Do you have some aversion to punctuation? Do you think it's cool not to capitalize or use paragraphs? I cannot read your post because of this.


See also [0] for more on studies of the effects of cannabis on adolescents. Cannabis has also been claimed in studies of adults to have adverse effects on short term memory[1] and dopamine levels[2] with long-term use.

0. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00...

1. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article...

2. http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcolleg...


Any dose of cannabis is going to be chronic.


So it's at least on par with, if not safer and less harmful than other substances, including tobacco and alcohol, that are completely legal in all 50 states of our nation.


Downregulation is common in biological systems. With high-level THC exposures, one would expect downregulation of receptor density. And for high-level THC exposures during neurological development, one might also expect downregulation of connectivity. Which might eventually be irreversible.

Conversely, with declining levels of endocannabinoids in older unexposed individuals, one might expect low-level THC exposures to improve function.


Misleading title, it should probably say something like: Study shows THC in controlled micro doses appears to restore cognitive function in older mice


"study shows", and "appears to" are filler. "In mice" is unnecessarily narrow as the original headline doesn't imply any species. "U.S. Drops Bombs" is a perfectly fine headline, the location can be specified in the article.

What do you see as the distinction between "restore cognitive function in older individuals" vs "reverses aging process in the brain"?


Did you actually click the link and read the title? Because that's what it says: "A chronic low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice"


I hate these headlines for all medical research proven in mouse models. They should say "in mice" or "might" they're written to imply that it's already proven to work in humans.


I heard a quote on a science podcast once to the effect of "If you can't cure cancer in mice, you're not really trying."


What about the headline implies humans?

And they did prove. There's no might, they measured it.

It bugs me that people like you read things into headlines that aren't there and then complain that the headline didn't clarify your assumptions.


I've seen that merely adding new context and information to an aging brain helps it. Taking a psychedelic would definitely cause a brain to experience reality in new ways. For that reason alone, the added stimulation may be enough to enrich the connections.


Wouldn't that effect be statistically detectable, though? (personally a strong cannabis advocate, trying to avoid giving it mythical properties though)


The basic principle at play here is that anything that is enjoyable cannot be good for you.

When you're young, and you do it recreationally, it is bad for you.

As you grow older, and it becomes an annoying distraction from what you want to get done, it suddenly becomes beneficial.


I think that's because if something's enjoyable, you'll keep on doing it until either it stops being enjoyable or it causes some problem that makes you want to stop despite the enjoyment. By then it's either bad for you and enjoyable or not enjoyable and good for you.

So I think your principle is a long term equilibrium position that things end up in, not really true in the short term.


This principle that "anything that is enjoyable cannot be good for you" is only there I suspect as a cultural leftover of the Catholic religion, I don't think it's a worldwide thing.


So if one were to be in his or her late forties, say, when should one expect it to stop being enjoyable? A friend wanted to know ;)


It depends. A friend knows for certain it can happen.


So counterintuitive that perhaps it has to be true!

From around the same time, so presumably an alternative regurgitation of the same press release: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/health/cannabis-could-h...

Choice quote: "But the benefits were only seen in older mice, said the researchers. When young animals were exposed to THC, their memory and learning performance got worse" - and I have to say that sounds more like my own experience of THC exposure as a young animal.

But maybe I should take up the habit again in my dotage?


Sure if you're a mouse


Tiny hint:

there are hemp strains that are naturally low on THC (legal limit is low anyway) and also embed other cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol), which seems to be a potent anti inflammatory, and activates CB receptors (brain, GI tract). To summarize, it could be of use to grow non THC-heavy hemp and extract cannabinoids for your health.


it was the THC that had the positive effect in this study though


Yes, at low dose. Which legal hemp provider along with others.


You seem to be implying that "low-dose legal hemp" is a thing that exists....what do you mean?


Health Canada defines hemp as products of Cannabis Sativa which contain less than 0.3 percent THC, whereas US law defines hemp as all parts of any Cannabis Sativa plant containing no psychoactive properties, except for defined exceptions


I do not know us legislation, since medical majijuana is so trendy i expected hemp to be legal as well.


The answer beside is what I meant.

People always think of raw cannabis plant but hemp is the same family except useless for 'weed' since thc is so low in it.


You're aware that they're the same plant, we're just talking about males and females, right?


I guess it won't help with braindead [1] politicians who refuse to legalize it.

[1] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4877736/


Anyone else think this is kind of a dubious news source?


I'd find it more believable if the researchers didn't look so damn high in the picture.



A much better source and title.


so... what age should I start smoking again?


now


Cannabis is doing a lot of positive things to our body according to many reports How true is this all?


you can go to pubmed.com and read, there's a lot of papers on THC and other cannabinoids

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=cannobinoids

Lots of research is related to Cancer, but there are some meta studies and non cancer related too.


Not that surprising considering profits are changing hands.


Oh, so cannabis decreases entropy of the universe, how wonderful!

I wish I could have a chance to smoke what they had.

Ageing essentially is the same process as erosion of mountains. No amount of cannabis or LSD would help.




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